One of the perfect places for family and friends to gather is around a backyard fire feature. However, the mess wood pit leaves behind together with the smoke and community restrictions can make the burning wood highly stressful. This is why it is wise to consider converting wood burning pits to gas. Gas pits come with a lot of benefits; one of which makes them easy to light and enjoy. All you have to do is turn the key valve and light a match.
Is It Possible To Convert Wood Pit To Natural Gas?
The short and direct answer is YES. In other words, you can convert wood pits to natural gas using propane using easy to install natural gas conversion kit. The natural gas conversion kit can be found or purchased from a home improvement store. You can also get them at reputable internet stores.
Of course, you will need natural gas line running from your house to the fire. This is important because it will allow you to hook up the conversion kit. Because this is an outdoor project, it is wise to do it before winter. It is important to note that some of these conversion kits are designed to be used all year round (even in harsh climates). If you wish to convert your pit to natural gas, you should consider the following tips: –
i) The reason to convert
The truth is that wood pits are simple to install, but may not be the best option for those who want to install pits in their home. In fact, many urban developments prohibit the use of wood pits due to safety issues such as the possibility of uncontrolled fire. Aside from this, wood pits require a lot of cleaning and constantly placing wood to keep the fire going. This means that you will need a place to store your wood.
Another issue is the smoke. When the wind blows in the wrong direction, you will end up being irritated by the smoke. It will also leave you smelling like smoke throughout.
ii) The benefits of gas fire
With gas fire, you will not experience the negative experiences as wood fire. First, the conversion kits are easy to light, safe to use, and effortless to install without needing specialized knowledge. You will also be able to save space, and it will not leave you and your guests like smoke. These are the primary reasons that have made gas fires gain popularity.
Since many wood pits come pre-configured, they make an excellent starting point for gas pits. However, if you already have a wood pit installed, it will take you only a few minutes to convert to gas.
How Much Will It Cost To Convert Your Pit To Gas?
If you are planning to change a propane pit over to natural gas, there are a few expenses involved. For example, a professional will be required to install your gas line, which is already a cost in itself. If you don’t have a line connected for gas, you will have to pay out even more.
This is because a certified and qualified inspector will first need to inspect the gas line in your home after the installation. This law applies to most areas. At the same time, an outdoor conversion kit is also going to add to the costs. Even though the price is going to vary according to the kit type and where you have chosen to purchase the kit from. In certain stores, conversion kits might be offered at a discount or be more affordable when you compare them to other stores. For this reason, it is a good idea to compare prices to get the best deal. You are also required to obtain a permit, which may mean you are liable to pay a fee.
A permit is necessary when you install a new gas line and for an outdoor conversion kit. If you are unsure whether you require a permit, contact your local Government Offices. Some areas don’t require a permit for an outdoor conversion kit.
Is It Possible To Connect a Propane Pit To Natural Gas?
It is possible. A majority of the stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and heaters can be converted by simply replacing the orifice. The good news is that conversion kits come with conversion valves. However, if your goal is to convert a fire, you will need a conversion kit that comes with the gas line and conversion valve. It should also come with instructions on how to install.
What Are The Dangers Of Converting Propane Pit To Natural Gas?
The truth is that there are few dangers associated with natural gas conversion kits. This is why it is wise to seek the services of a professional if you are installing a new gas line from your house to the outdoor pit. Any improper installation will lead to leaks, and this is not good as it may lead to a dangerous situation.
If the conversion kit is incorrectly installed, it will cause it to fail. It may even cause a fire or explosion. This is why it is paramount that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the kit. Never try to modify it in any way. If this project does not make you comfortable, hire a professional.
Also, do not forget to check with your local government offices. That is because you may need to have a permit and have the natural gas line inspected by a certified inspector after installation. Remember, this is a law that applies in many areas. Although some areas do not require a permit for the outdoor conversion kits.
What To Consider When Installing a Gas Pit?
i) The Gas Fuel Type
Since you wish to replace your ordinary wood pit with gas, you have to consider the type of gas. Remember, there are two kinds of gas; Propane or Natural gas. The type of gas you choose will affect everything about the pit. For example, if you are planning to use the pit for many years, it is wise to consider natural gas, because it will save you fuel costs in the long run.
According to market research, many people who convert wood pits will end up using a 20-pound gas tank. These are the tanks that are generally used in most gas grills. Although propane pits are the most convenient option than running a new gas line; it is important to note that the size of the pit will be highly limited by the tank’s BTU output (about 125,000 BTU).
This is why it is wise to consider your options very well when purchasing your burner kit. We are ready to help you. Give us a call if you need help finding a kit that meets your needs.
ii) Ignition Options
The ignition method is another option you should consider. Generally, there are three types of ignition options. These are: –
- Match Lit
- Push Button
The Match Lit options are just that. All you have to do is turn the key valve and light the burner. The Push Button ignition option is almost similar to a spark ignitor system. With this method, all you have to do is turn the key valve, and push a button to ignite the pit.
Electronic ignition is a great feature one should consider. This ignition style allows users to turn the fire feature remotely. You have the option to add a timer and comes with an emergency stop (which is needed for commercial projects). However, it is wise to note that these ignitions need power (electricity) at the fire feature.
iii) Burner Shape
The shape of the burner is completely up to you. The most popular options are the Star and Penta shaped burners. Remember, each burner style offers its own strength. This is why it is paramount to check the full selection of products before making a purchase.
At the same time, the size of a burner you choose should be based on the size of the inside dimensions of the enclosure. Some manufacturers have different regulations based on size. However, the rule to follow is choosing a burner size that leaves at least 3 inches between the inside edge of the pan and the edge of the burner.
Having proper ventilation in the fire area is paramount. Many pits are built to have 36 square inches of vent holes. Remember, ventilation is important and aids the gas to burn properly. It also limits backdrafts.
v) The importance of a Gas Valve
Many conversion kits come with a ¼ turn ball valve. The primary use of the valve is to control the feed of fuel to the burner. It is wise to mount the valve in a place that is easy to access (like at the side of the enclosure). If the enclosure stone or pavers is thicker than 3 inches, you should invest in a flange extension to extend the length so that you can control the valve through the bricks. Although not many people own expensive core drills, these can be rented from your local hardware store for a reasonable fee.
vi) Pit Pan
If you have decided to use propane gas, you will have to include a pit pan. This is an important component with propane burner kits for safety and better flame performance. However, for a natural gas pit, you do not require a pit pan. But you can decide to include one to boost its appearance, decrease the number of media needed, and assist with proper drainage. A pit pan makes it easy for anyone to have easy access to the gas line in the even the pit needs repair.
We recommend that you use a flat pan together with our installation collars. Installing the collars is very easy and can be done using the Tap-Con drill and a few screws. If the paver kit comes with a metal insulating ring, you can remove and discard it. That is because gas does not burn hot as wood. This means that you will not experience cracks appearing for bricks from the heat. The moment your collar installation is completed; you can lower the pan onto the ledge.
vii) Choose the pit Media
The pit media is the fun part of the building process. It does not matter the outdoor décor or colour palette, there is always something that will fit your needs. All media works the same way. It allows the gas to disperse around the piece for a full flame appearance. For this reason, you have a wide selection of choices in terms of colour or style.
The lava rock is a classic option and the most economical. This makes for an attractive media option and matches nearly any design style. Fire glass offers a modern option for those looking for something unique. Fire glass comes in various sizes, styles, and colours. Our most favourites are red and black, and they are the most popular. Blue colour can be a great option if the pit is next to a backyard swimming pool.
It is wise to allow all gas conversions should be made by a qualified specialist or installer. If a gas pit is installed properly, they are safer to operate compared to wood pit. This is why having a professional install a gas pit is highly important. The professional installer can help to ensure your gas pit gets proper gas pressure supply and BTU output. This will help you avoid frustrating problems such as poor flame performance or whistling.